6 IT Skills You Need for Marketing Automation

Most Marketing Automation vendors claim their software is easy-to-use and doesn’t require any technical skills.

The ugly truth is that without a certain level of IT knowledge, you will struggle operating Marketing Automation software. Even worse, you might not get past the initial roll out, since a higher level of IT skill is required at this stage.

Here, we highlight the potential IT hurdles which can hinder a successful marketing automation project and the technical skills your team will require to overcome them.

Before Marketing Automation Rollout

Skill 1: CRM Expertise

Quiz: Do you understand your CRM system’s data model? Do you understand the process of how leads flow through your CRM system? Do you know the customization which have been done to your CRM system?

If you can’t answer these questions:

  • Vendors will struggle to understand whether their solution fits your business
  • The odds of a successful rollout are low, as most software requires a seamless connection to your CRM system

Suggestion: Negotiate to have your vendor help you or use a 3rd party to help you map out how your CRM system works.

Skill 2: CRM Integration

Quiz: Do you know the limitations of each vendor’s integration with your particular CRM system? Do you know how these limitations will impact your business needs now/later? Do you know how you will implement your lead process across the two systems?

If you can’t answer these questions:

  • Your project timing and cost will likely blow out
  • There are business needs that may not be met
  • You are likely to need to swap out your marketing automation software later on

Suggestion: Firstly, understand the features you actually need from Marketing Automation software. Secondly, get independent advice specifically related to your CRM and the software you have short-listed. Thirdly, use a 3rd party for the rollout.

During Rollout

Skill 3: Website Coding

Quiz: Do you have access to your website’s HTML? Do you know how to add Javascript code to your website? Do you know the difference between asynchronous and synchronous Javascript? Can you resolve jQuery conflicts if they arise?

If you can’t answer these questions:

  • You may not be able to add a tracking code to your site. This means you won’t have visibility of your prospect’s behavior
  • Your pages may take longer to load

Suggestion: If you already have Google Analytics, the likelihood is that your IT department can do this for you quite easily. Negotiate to get the vendor to do it for you.

Skill 4: Website Domain Management

Quiz: Do you have access to your domain? Do you know how to create a CNAME? Do you know what a DKIM/SPF is?

If you can’t answer these questions:

  • You will not be able to brand your email and landing page URLs
  • Your emails will go straight to your prospect’s SPAM folder

Suggestion: Your IT department should be able to do this for you, with some help from the vendor.

After Rollout

Skill 5: Email Design

Quiz: Do you know how to design emails and landing pages? Do you know how to code HTML? Do you know the extent of your vendor’s support for custom HTML templates?

If you can’t answer these questions, you will not be able to:

  • Create professional looking emails & landing pages
  • Integrate marketing automation forms on your website
  • Create mobile-optimized emails & landing pages

Suggestion: Find a designer with experience creating HTML templates for your specific marketing automation software.

Skill 6: UTM Tagging

Quiz: Do you know how to append your URLs with UTM tags? Do you know how UTM tags flow into your marketing automation’s reporting?

If you can’t answer these questions:

  • You may not be able to attribute leads to social and pay-per-click campaigns

Suggestion: There are plenty of tutorials on the web to explain how to use UTM tags and you can ask your vendor to explain how they flow into the software’s reporting.

Hopefully, you’ve now identified the IT hurdles which may affect your marketing automation project and understand the technical skills your team will need to acquire to overcome them.

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